First Night

We left our friends John and Chantal in Ottawa bound for Québec. Our first stop was the pretty little town of Montebello. By the time we reached Montebello we were ready for two things: a bathroom break and a spot of lunch. Only one of these things was achieved. We decided at the outset that we wouldn’t settle for mediocre food while travelling. We are well stocked in healthy snacks like almonds, dried fruit, water so we held out until we arrived at our campsite. Our campsite that night was at Camping du Parc in Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc near Mauricie National Park and Shawinigan. We stayed in an immaculate campground owned by a super friendly couple. We highly recommend this campground. The sites are close together but separated by thick stands of trees. There were relatively few campers though that night so we didn’t really have neighbours. Well…. Other than the mosquitoes! They were plentiful! We had shopped at Seed to Sausage in Ottawa the day before and so our dinner was a simple one but delicious and included sage and apple pork sausages, seedy sauerkraut, baked beans and fresh asparagus all washed down with Beau’s Lager also made in Ottawa. The Beau’s Lager was a nod to VanMorrison and Gibb’s previous owner, Jason Ellsmere, who works for Beau’s. We caught up on some computer work while sitting beside the campfire that evening. In the morning Christian ground the coffee for our morning brew and my (Julie’s) birthday breakfast while still in bed. We have a manual coffee grinder which ensures our ability to make coffee even without electricity. We’re pretty sure that the little Japanese ceramic grinder makes the coffee taste better or it could be the workout. Along with coffee we had a simple breakfast of granola, yogurt and fruit. (We have found that while plugged in at a campsite with services our little fridge does a great job. But, when we are travelling in the van and the fridge is on battery power the temperature rises throughout the day so we try not to overfill it and risk disappointment. We have managed to keep yogurt, cream, butter, cheese and a few staples cool and fresh.)   We would have loved to stay here longer and explore the Mauricie National Park but decided instead to head directly to La Malbaie.

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